Christopher C. Gagliardi
Umar Sultan Kahloon Contributing Writers
People around the world have become increasingly alarmed at the spread of a potentially deadly and new version of the Coronavirus. With close to 200,000 cases worldwide and over 7,000 people dying because of Coronavirus, its impact has put the world on high alert to stop the spread of the virus.
According to the World Health Organization and multiple agencies including the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, this new strain of the virus is within a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which both claimed hundreds of lives in 2003.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
The symptoms of coronavirus are typical of any infection. In addition, the CDC believes at this time that symptoms of the virus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. The common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure and even death.
Leading health experts from around the world have been meeting at the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters to assess the current level of knowledge about the new disease, identify gaps and work together to accelerate and fund priority research needed to help stop this outbreak, as well as prepare for any future outbreaks.
The coronavirus is also having a massive effect on the economy of working class people all over the world. Many countries are evacuating people who were in the source of the outbreak. At BCC, the International Student Center is aware and is monitoring the situation closely. When asked if any students who studied abroad were from China, Professor Amparo-Codding said, “We currently have no students from the college who have studied in China.”
Preventative measures are the first step in keeping a disease at bay. First, knowing the facts about it will help stop the panic about it, avoid stigma and erase the ignorance when it comes to a new and unfamiliar disease. We can also practice keeping clean hands by washing, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms. On top of that, make sure to thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
While there is no vaccine to stop this new virus at this time, researchers are working nonstop to find the ultimate treatment to save many lives, but the best way to save lives is to make sure we take these tips seriously, to make sure we all can stay healthy.